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Old 05-05-2011, 01:45 AM   #1
Badmash
 
Join Date: May 2011
Location: Falls Church, VA
Default The Morphing Detective

When a character uses Morph to imitate another character, what are they imitating? I have a player in my current campaign who has a character with Morph that suspects another character is masquerading as a member of the opposite gender. His plan is to watch that character from hiding and mimic them.

So when someone mimics someone else using Morph, are they imitating the actual person, or what they can see? Would things such as birthmarks or moles that the Morphing character hasn't seen show up as well?
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Old 05-05-2011, 01:54 AM   #2
David Johnston2
 
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Default Re: The Morphing Detective

What they can see. Although I suppose you could get a Detect/Analyse to duplicate the whole body in unseen detail.
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Old 05-05-2011, 12:55 PM   #3
Not another shrubbery
 
Join Date: Aug 2004
Default Re: The Morphing Detective

Quote:
Originally Posted by David Johnston2
What they can see. Although I suppose you could get a Detect/Analyse to duplicate the whole body in unseen detail.
Yeah, that should be technically right. Morph doesn't include any special senses, so what you shapeshift to should be based on the senses you do have, plus whatever you might infer. Just to note, though, that at least some GMs IME play fast and loose with such requirements.
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Old 05-05-2011, 03:49 PM   #4
Mr_Sandman
 
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Default Re: The Morphing Detective

I was going to say it's a setting specific detail. If the morph ability has a magic, psionic, or pseudo-science explanation, there's no reason that unseen details wouldn't be copied as well.

Then I remembered that there is a limitation that introduces flaws to morph so that it can be detected, so I changed my mind and would rule that a perfect copy, undetectable by external inspection, is the default for morph, and if there are any visible differences it is a limitation.
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Old 05-05-2011, 04:15 PM   #5
Ze'Manel Cunha
 
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Default Re: The Morphing Detective

Quote:
Originally Posted by David Johnston2 View Post
What they can see. Although I suppose you could get a Detect/Analyse to duplicate the whole body in unseen detail.
Quote:
Originally Posted by Not another shrubbery View Post
Yeah, that should be technically right. Morph doesn't include any special senses, so what you shapeshift to should be based on the senses you do have, plus whatever you might infer. Just to note, though, that at least some GMs IME play fast and loose with such requirements.
No, basic Morph gives you a complete and accurate copy.

You don't need an MRI, or to look into a Centauri's pants, in order to morph into a humanoid creature with two hearts and six tentacle phalluses with a 4 foot reach.

If you want to limit Morph to only what they can see visually and through an MRI Scan then you're talking about a "Needs External and Internal Visual Sample" Limitation, which I'd price at -40%, since it's very onerous but not quite as bad as the -50% "Must Devour Victim" Limitation.

See Powers, p.74 for examples of Morph limitations.
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Old 05-05-2011, 06:15 PM   #6
Witchking
 
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Default Re: The Morphing Detective

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Originally Posted by Ze'Manel Cunha View Post
<snip> six tentacle phalluses with a 4 foot reach.<snip>
Only 4 feet?
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Old 05-06-2011, 12:43 AM   #7
jdzik
 
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Default Re: The Morphing Detective

I'm the player in question.

My view is that the text is unclear on the question. I think either interpretation would be reasonable - that it's what-you-see-is-what-you-get or the full morph. I've told Badmash that while I think the full-morph is right, I'm not going to fight any decision he comes up with.

But one bit of text that I think strongly supports my case: you can morph into the appearance of anyone you can see or touch. I'm hard pressed to see how the "touch" part works unless a touch anywhere on the person means that you can turn into the person entire. If it's what-you-see-is-what-you-get, or in this case, what-you-touch-is-what-you-get, does that mean you have to run your hands over the entire person in order to morph into him?

Or, say, if a blind morpher managed to grab an elephant's trunk, would he then morph into a snake?
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Old 05-06-2011, 07:42 AM   #8
Ze'Manel Cunha
 
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Default Re: The Morphing Detective

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Originally Posted by jdzik View Post
My view is that the text is unclear on the question. I think either interpretation would be reasonable - that it's what-you-see-is-what-you-get or the full morph. I've told Badmash that while I think the full-morph is right, I'm not going to fight any decision he comes up with.
The text isn't unclear, unless you take a significant limitation on Morph you don't need to know what the internal organs on someone is before you change into them, and you don't need to know how to do a double-stitch to have your clothes be accurate when you shift either.

Morph is a very powerful advantage, very very powerful, that's why it's worth 100 points.
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Old 05-06-2011, 12:16 PM   #9
Not another shrubbery
 
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Default Re: The Morphing Detective

Quote:
Originally Posted by jdzik
My view is that the text is unclear on the question. I think either interpretation would be reasonable - that it's what-you-see-is-what-you-get or the full morph. I've told Badmash that while I think the full-morph is right, I'm not going to fight any decision he comes up with.

But one bit of text that I think strongly supports my case: you can morph into the appearance of anyone you can see or touch. I'm hard pressed to see how the "touch" part works unless a touch anywhere on the person means that you can turn into the person entire. If it's what-you-see-is-what-you-get, or in this case, what-you-touch-is-what-you-get, does that mean you have to run your hands over the entire person in order to morph into him?
Agree completely that either interpretation is reasonable. Consistency in application is the real issue in this case. I always overlook the "or touch" bit, but it is a strong argument in favor of making it work like ZMC says. OTOH, the connection between Cosmetic Morph and Elastic Skin suggests the need for visual cues for perfect disguises, and I prefer not adding effects beyond those implied by the name. It fits my sensibilities that a now-blind shapeshifter would be limited to perfect copies of forms known before.
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Old 05-06-2011, 12:42 PM   #10
Ze'Manel Cunha
 
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Default Re: The Morphing Detective

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Originally Posted by Not another shrubbery View Post
OTOH, the connection between Cosmetic Morph and Elastic Skin suggests the need for visual cues for perfect disguises, and I prefer not adding effects beyond those implied by the name.
It does not, there is nothing in a visual cue which will tell you that the suit has a herringbone lining, a Prada label, and a small tear on the inside right pocket, yet the perfect disguise is perfect, unless you put significant limitations on it.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Not another shrubbery View Post
It fits my sensibilities that a now-blind shapeshifter would be limited to perfect copies of forms known before.
In which case he had a limited version of Morph to begin with.

Something not enough GMs do is put in the appropriate limitations to make a RAW advantage fit their setting's power.

The system is a tool-kit with lots of knobs and dials to tune a power as needed, Morph without limitations is pretty damn powerful and fully accurate, no MRIs needed.
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